We had decided that we would like to have our half of Gloucester Old Spot just as a side so we could practice our butchery skills in preparation for when we have our own pigs. Butchery done here by a butcher seems to consist of running the various parts through a band saw, not too much attention is given to the various cuts that we grew up with. We wanted specific cuts for curing and sausage making, and we did not want joints so big that you would need a dozen people to eat it all.
|Half a pig ready for butchering.|
Half of the belly is now dry curing for bacon,
|Belly of pork ready to slow roast.|
A small amount of the gammon is in a wet cure, hopefully this will turn into Gammon Steaks which will then have to be frozen. The cheeks are dry curing hopefully to turn into Guanciale, this according to recipes is similar to Pancetta, after the dry curing it is then air cured for a further five to six weeks and can then be eaten raw.
We are hoping to smoke the pork belly once the dry curing is complete. We had come up with all sorts of ideas for making a smoking chamber, then the light came on. We have an old boiler room which had housed the oil boiler when we first moved here. Now redundant and no longer housing a boiler it is probably the ideal place to turn into our smoke house.
|Simple and delicious.|
We took a trip up to Florence Court in Fermanagh to the wood yard that we used to use years ago, we knew that Danny the owner had oak that we could use for the smoking, plus we wanted to get the fencing posts for the pig run. Fencing posts here are very expensive and many of them are not pressure treated , cross the boarder into the north and you are paying just £1 for a tanalised post as opposed to 2.25 euros here, we also came away with suitable wood for Simon's wood carving .
|Even the bees are out enjoying the sunshine.|
|Sheep gently grazing on a rocky outcrop.|
We have a glut of eggs at the moment, we wont be incubating any for at least another month, we are too far behind on getting the garden sorted out to give time to young chicks. What to do with all these eggs? We can only eat a certain amount and only eat so much cake, so lemon curd it is.